Dounreay Castle Ruins

Highland, United Kingdom

Dounreay Castle dates from the late 16th century, and is one of the few remaining examples of a Scottish Laird’s castle from that period. William Sinclair of Dunbeath, descended from a younger brother of John Sinclair, third Earl of Caithness, built the castle in the 1560s. It was damaged in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army during their Scottish campaign. Now entirely ruined, the castle was still inhabited in 1863, but had become roofless and derelict by 1889.

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Highland, United Kingdom
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Founded: 16th century
Category: Ruins in United Kingdom

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3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Iain Maclean (2 years ago)
A well known surf spot, the castle at brims is on the site of a farm just by the road. The remains of a doorway and some rooms can still be seen but access is difficult. More details about the castle can be sought on the Canmore database. The international surf competition has been held here before and it's a common sight to see surfers here but there is nothing in the way of facilities and the access road can be poor at times.
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The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.